Wix: The Free Visual Website Builder
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Wix is a website builder which lets beginners and web pros alike design and create beautiful, functioning websites. They have drag-and-drop technology that makes it easy to use and powerful functionality that makes the tool worthwhile for people creating a quick blog or a major e-commerce business site.
If you’re trying to decide if you should use it to build your own website, this comprehensive Wix review can help. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into this platform.
We’ll show how to use it, run through pricing, and compare it to some of its major competitors. We’ll also cover a few helpful FAQs.
What Is Wix?
Wix is an online service which allows people to easily build websites for personal or professional use. The service lets those with no coding experience use a drag-and-drop interface to build a custom website exactly how they want it.
Wix sites can be blogs, portfolios, or fully functioning e-commerce sites where businesses can sell products and services and have them paid for securely through the website.
You may have encountered other content management systems and visual site builders, but there are few out there that have as robust a feature set as that being offered by Wix.
You start out with a free website builder that comes with a huge set of tools. The website builder itself is drag-and-drop, so all you have to do is put the image exactly where you want it and that’s how it will render on your website. The web hosting is included and there is a unique Wix App Market to further expand the functionality of your site.
Many of these apps are also free, making it easy for you to integrate an online store, for example. There are also apps for building forms, offering coupons, adding rating widgets, including live chat, and embedding a variety of social media buttons like Google+, Pinterest and Facebook.
Wix Website Builder: Drag-and-Drop Visual Editor
The Wix website builder for thousands of people who have discovered this easy-to-use platform. People remark in the ads that they were able to build a website in one day or less, or even in just an hour. The easy to use drag-and-drop interface makes it much simpler for people to create their sites. But, many more things stand out about Wix.
For one thing, Wix makes the process of website building easy for anyone wanting to build a website. By using their predesigned templates and tools, you can create a site quickly and have it up online in no time at all.
Wix takes the approach that people want high quality and great features on their website, even if they don’t have a clue on how to code or to tap into a highly technical tool. In fact, Wix has included all of those specialty tools at the backend, so all you have to do is use their easy editor to utilize these features. Imagine that!
One way Wix creates a platform that will allow you to get your website up and running so fast is their professional template collection. They have included templates from almost every industry imaginable. Take a look at some of their web templates here.
You’ll notice when browsing through the templates that each style has a unique personality and look. This is because each industry it represents has a unique look as well. Look at the car industry template for example.
When visitors first come to the page, they immediately see a car in the middle of the page, so there is no doubt what the website is about. It also features the logo and brand name right in the middle of the page, as well.
The visual effects, coupled with the attractive car garage background let people know what the brand is about at first look. This is important, especially for people on mobile devices that you may only have a few seconds to win over!
Check out the navigation of this module, as well. It is located at the very top. It is simple and straightforward but attractive. The lettering and background color nicely match the rest of the theme.
This is just one example of the type of themes you’ll find with the predesigned templates Wix offers users, and it is one way that Wix makes site-building easy for anyone.
Another big point for Wix is the way the editor allows for easy drag-and-drop of elements. You can drag and drop practically any type of elements such as pictures, text boxes, videos, podcasts, or any other element you want to add.
This is one of the favorite features of Wix users because it takes the guesswork out of creating a site by allowing you to put whatever you want on your site with minimal trouble. It also allows for flexibility by allowing you to add additional code such as HTML blocks of text to spruce up your site.
Here is an example site that you can build using the Wix system.
It’s a clean and simple design, but you can see how something like this would be very attractive for a chic new website. Again, remembering that the website editor is visual, if you wanted to rearrange the elements in the top toolbar, all you have to do is drag and drop them. The visual editor also makes it easy to add images, change fonts, and so on.
While you can certainly use your own pictures and logos on the site, Wix also has a fairly large library of free stock images that you can use too. This is a great way to get started with a professional, custom design for your website. The included grid hosting and e-commerce support are definite positives too.
Follow their online tutorial to learn the steps you’ll take to create your site on Wix to get started brainstorming how you want your page to look.
Variety of Starter Designs
Even if you get a drag-and-drop interface, it can be extremely challenging to start from scratch. That’s why Wix has hundreds of templates for you to use, ranging from those geared toward computing and technology to those geared toward retail and fashion.
These are just the starter templates, but you can obviously tweak and customize them however you like. The sample page is a good place to get some inspiration, as you get a great sense of what other Wix customers have done with their websites. If you want help, Wix Pro designers are also available for hire.
Wix ADI (Artificial Design Intelligence)
What makes Wix work so well is their ADI — their artificial design intelligence. Building a website used to be a bulky, laborious affair. Change one thing on a web page, or move an image around, and the HTML code “under the hood” might respond in a strange way, rendering part or all of the site misformatted. Make a mistake adding widgets or plugins to a web page, and the site might break down altogether.
Wix’s ADI is smart enough to handle beginner web designers moving things around, and rewrites the code on the fly to make sure that everything is working correctly.
It also has many templates with built-in responsive design — meaning they work perfectly when viewed on large desktop screens or on small mobile devices. They’ve also introduced a new tool which lets you edit the mobile version directly.
More Features that Make Things Easy
In addition to the many features that make things easy with Wix, there are also some advanced features that would be hard to do if you did not utilize the Wix platform.
1. Wix Video
This feature is exclusive to the Wix platform and allows you to use advanced features such as adding clickable action cards to your videos that you place on your page via the drag-and-drop functionality.
You can also incorporate your social media buttons or other items that you want to use to complement your video content for maximum results.
2. Wix Bookings
This feature is a perk you don’t find on too many website platforms. It’s a tool designed to let you allow your customers to make appointments using this tool right on your site.
Ordinarily, you would have to pay another application up to $35 a month or more to have this feature added to your site. You might have to code it from scratch, as well or pay a programmer to do this.
Wix saves you both time and money by offering this handy tool that allows you to schedule your customers right on your site with minimal fuss.
3. Wix SEO Wiz
The SEO Wiz is a feature that makes Wix well worth looking into just by itself. That’s because SEO remains an essential part of creating and maintaining a successful website.
Knowing how to use the best SEO keywords that will increase your traffic while increasing your impact on the search engines is paramount.
Wix makes this easier also so that anyone can create highly impactful websites with the required amount of SEO without having to be an SEO genius.
Wix Free is their free plan and can work fine if you want to build an extremely basic website and don’t mind allowing Wix to insert ads on your site. If you want to connect your free version to a custom domain name, however, or add any more complex capabilities, you’re probably going to want to pay for one of their plans.
Here is a quick rundown of Wix’s pricing plans:
- Combo plan: $17/month ($13/month if you pay annually)
- Unlimited plan: $22/month ($17/month if you pay annually)
- Pro plan: $27/month ($22/month if you pay annually)
- VIP plan: $47/month ($39/month if you pay annually)
- Business Basic plan: $28/month ($23/month if you pay annually)
- Business Unlimited plan: $33/month ($27/month if you pay annually)
- Business VIP plan: $56/month ($49/month if you pay annually)
- Enterprise plan: $750/month ($500/month if you pay annually)
All of Wix’s premium plans include free domain name registration and deciding which one you want to use will be about how many add-ons you want.
The combo plan removes Wix’s ads from your site, but still keeps you pretty limited. Moving up from there, you can add e-commerce capabilities, get access to their form builder, and more. This site has a full breakdown of everything that’s offered in each Wix plan.
All sites get access to the Wix app market, which lets developers build plugin applications which you can insert into your website. These apps include playlists, photo feeds, blogging options, email marketing, and more.
Is It Really Free?
All of the core features from Wix are indeed free. You get access to the browser-based visual editor and you can use the library of templates and stock images. You also get grid hosting, online support, blogging support and more.
However, the free plan does have some limitations. For instance, you cannot use your own personalized domain with the free plan; you only get a Wix subdomain.
In order to use your own domain, you need to upgrade to a premium plan, which starts at about $5 per month. When you do that, you also eliminate the Wix branding from your website.
The good news is that you can give Wix a try for free to see if you like it before signing up for one of these premium plans. If you’re looking for a powerful but easily approachable way to get a custom designed website, Wix is an option worth considering.
Comparing Wix to Squarespace and WordPress
There are several online tools getting into the easy web design space. Three of the biggest are Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress.
WordPress for a long time was the gold standard, and it remains a powerful website builder. WordPress has cheaper plans than Wix and Squarespace, and it’s extremely easy to get started building a simple blog or website with the platform.
To build more complex sites on WordPress, however, you probably will need to have a bit of HTML experience. WordPress doesn’t really have drag-and-drop functionality for their sites. They’re built mostly for blogging purposes and remain excellent at that. But to build a custom site with WordPress, you need a bit of know-how.
Squarespace has prices comparable to Wix and might actually be even more user-friendly, especially for beginners.
But Squarespace also doesn’t give you as much freedom to customize the site as you have with Wix. Squarespace has several attractive templates, but you often have to stay within the confines of the templates. This limiting factor is a tradeoff to its ease of use.
Wix is a nice middle ground. It’s easier to use than many site builders, but it still gives you enough tools to make the site you really want.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve covered Wix, what’s great about it, and how it stands up to competitors. Let’s get to some FAQs.
1. Will it be easy to find my site on Google?
Wix offers built-in SEO (search engine optimization) tools to help your site rank on Google and other search engines. Pricier plans can even offer tools to power up your SEO so your site is better optimized to be found by people looking for it online.
2. Does Wix track how many people come to my site?
Some plans have built-in Google Analytics, which lets you review not only how many people came to your site, but where they’re from, how long they spent on the site, what pages they visit, and more.
3. How do I reach Wix Customer Support?
Wix Support has a large knowledge base to answer your questions, from breaking down e-commerce plans to helping you set up your first Wix blog. Wix users can reach them by phone at 800-600-0949.
4. What if I already have my own domain?
Wix gives you the option to connect your domain to a Wix site if you already have one. Just select the “connect domain” option during the building process, and they’ll guide you through the steps to get it connected to your site.
5. Does Wix let me build a mobile app?
Wix is a website builder, not a mobile app builder. Your website will be totally functional on mobile devices, but if you want to build an app for the App Store, that’ll require a different tool.
Time to Get Building
If you have a bit of experience with computers and want to build a powerful website, we recommend considering Wix. It had affordable pricing, a powerful drag-and-drop design tool, and high functionality.
If you’re looking to build your own website for your freelance portfolio, small business or blog, it’s a nice place to start.